Seasonal Reflection:  Ordinary Time, Winter, 2019

Reflecting on Peace



Jesus has been baptized. The Advent and Christmas seasons have ended. Liturgically, once again, we enter into Ordinary Time. It is a new beginning, not just a new year, but a new calling. For Jesus, baptism marked the beginning of his ministry. It marked his entry into public life. In that sense, if we correspond Ordinary Time with Jesus’s emergence from obscurity, we might have to adjust our thinking about the “ordinary” in Ordinary Time.Yes, the special seasons of Advent and Christmas have passed, but Ordinary Time brings with it its own specialness.


Ordinary Time opens up all options. After Jesus’s baptism, he went into the desert to pray, opening himself to the work to which God was calling him. Similarly, we might use Ordinary Time as an opportunity to pray about our own work in God’s kin-dom, for we too have been baptized into some form of ministry. We, too, are called to serve.This can be a time in which we look to the ordinary—whether our ordinary selves or the everyday world around us—and find our place in it.


Jesus’s baptism led him into the public square. Our baptism leads us, as well, though exactly where will differ from person to person. You may find yourself making peace with an estranged family member or former friend or reaching out to a needy neighbor. You may choose to help clean up a local park or plant a community garden. You could lend your voice at a school board meeting or public hearing on some pertinent civic issue. You could also speak out on happenings beyond your immediate locale. You might ask questions: Why are so many people needy? Why is the environment decaying? Why are schools underfunded and children underachieving? What more can I do to correct such situations? Or you could become an advocate for refugees, trafficked persons, sick and disabled people, the elderly, the incarcerated, or people suffering discrimination whether because of race, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

All of these are “ordinary” things that we “ordinary” people can do. We must seize the chance to be active participants in Ordinary Time, remembering that God is as much in the ordinary as in those special moments. Let’s embrace the “ordinary” and use it wisely and well.


Prayer

 

Extraordinary God of ordinary people,
O One Who is in Relationship,
blessed are the bonds of solidarity and love
that make the community of believers into a family of friends.
May we be there for each other in the high times and the low times,
courageously accompanying one another on our journey into Life.
Be there for us and with us at the crossroads of decision,
and make our choices fruitful and our opportunities clear.
We thank You for Your gentle way with those who trust in You.

Amen.

- Adapted from Woman Wisdom: “Memorable Women” by Miriam Therese Winter



Suggested Actions

  • The reflection above offers a number of suggestions for action, but here are a few more:

    - Be sure not to miss God in the ordinariness of each day, whether in the people you encounter, the environment that surrounds you, or the daily routines that consume much of your time.

  • - Use the freedom that Ordinary Time provides to choose a peace and justice cause about which you are passionate and dedicate some of your “ordinary” time to it. It might be advocating for the end of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen;opposing the genocide of the Rohingya people of Myanmar; standing up for Palestinian rights; closing Guantanamo prison and granting due process to those still being held there; demanding asylum for refugees to the U.S.; promoting the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; reversing global climate change; stopping human trafficking; shutting the school-to-prison pipeline and reforming the U.S. prison system and detention centers; converting the U.S. economy from a military economy to one that provides affordable housing, living wages, free quality pre-K through college education for all, universal health care; or another of the seemingly infinite issues that plague our world.

  • - Attend PCMNY’s events for more prayer, study, and action.

  • - Join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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